Lupus and Early Menopause
Published: 2009-01-13 - Updated: 2012-09-21
Author: John Gibb
Synopsis: If you are suffering signs of early menopause you should consult a doctor if you have lupus.
It is very important that if you have the signs of early menopause that you consult a doctor to rule out anything else that may be happening or a consequence of other health conditions. This is especially important if you have lupus and are experiencing signs of early menopause.
There are a few types of lupus including Discoid Lupus and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Discoid Lupus most often affects the skin. It will present as a red rash that could have raised edges. It commonly occurs on the face and scalp. The rash is not itchy but scarring on the scalp can cause irreversible hair loss. Up to approximately 10% of those who have Discoid Lupus will develop Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
The most common complaints of those who suffer with systemic lupus erythematosus include fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle pain, arthritis and mouth/ nose ulcerations.
A facial rash (butterfly rash), photosensitivity and inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart-pleuritis and the heart-pericarditis are also symptoms of lupus. Problems with circulation to the fingers and toes when it is really cold are also called Raynaud's phenomenon. Inflammation of the brain, liver, and kidneys also occur in SLE. There may be a decrease in white blood cells and clotting factors. This increases the risk of infections and bleeding.
More than 50% of those with SLE will develop the flat red butterfly rash.
Most SLE sufferers will develop a type of arthritis that is very similar to rheumatoid arthritis. The small joints of the hands, the wrists, and feet may swell, become painful, stiff and sometimes deformed. Inflammation of the blood vessels especially those that supply oxygen to tissues can cause nerve injury, injury to the skin, or injury to an internal organ.
These are some of the major and most common symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus. Within each symptom is a set of sub-symptoms that result from the main symptoms. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can be very treatable. It may also cause death depending on which body organs are affected.
The diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus is determined if a patient has four or more of eleven criteria.
- malar-butterfly rash,
- discoid rash with patchy redness,
- photosensitivity (sensitivity to light),
- mucus membrane ulcers,
- pleuritis and pericaridits-inflammations of the linings of the heart lungs along with pain when breathing,
- kidney abnormalities including an abnormal quantity of urine protein or clusters of cellular elements (casts),
- brain irritation,
- blood count abnormalities,
- immunological disorders-abnormal results of such tests as Anti-DNA, or anti-Sm,
- testing positive for antinuclear antibody.
Other tests could include a Sedimentation Rate, blood chemistry and evaluation of body fluids, as well as tissue biopsies. SLE can also cause one to enter early menopause
Treatments of systemic lupus erythematosus include getting more rest during the active phases of the disease. Inadequate sleep is key in the progression of fatigue in SLE patients. A doctor must focus on poor sleep and the effects of depression, insufficient exercise and patient's personal care coping abilities on their over-all health. Drugs that are used to relieve symptoms of SLE include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help muscle, joint and other body tissue pain.
Corticosteroids are stronger in lessening inflammation and restoring the ability to function when SLE is active and they are helpful when internal organs are involved. They can be delivered in a number of forms but they have some serious side effects in long-term use at high doses. Thinning skin and bones, weight gain, infections, diabetes, facial puffiness, cataracts and even death (necrosis) of large joints are also possible. There is a wide variety of types of drugs used to treat mild to severe cases of SLE.
Symptoms of Early Menopause
Lupus and early menopause have some common symptoms. Sleep problems, heart palpitations, headaches and hot flashes that can occur in lupus and the patient not are menopausal. Irregular periods and bleeding are classic signs of beginning menopause. If you are a woman with lupus menstruation can continue but as has been mentioned become irregular and cease altogether catapulting you into early menopause. Other symptoms of it include appetite changes, weight gain, body aches, and mood swings all of which can also occur in lupus.
Early menopause in lupus can occur as a result of the disease itself.
It can also be a result of the medications used to treat lupus. It can also be a result of heredity as opposed the disease or treatments of the disease.
Treatment of these symptoms can be HRT- hormone replacement therapy, anti-depressants, and anti-inflammatories. These treatments can have some very serious side effects such as increased risk for heart attack and some cancers. Most women seek to avoid these side effects and turn to natural treatments such as herbal supplementation.
Herbal supplements may also include vitamins such as B-complex and C vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and zinc. In order to get the highest quality supplement there should be no fillers or preservatives. The ingredients will have had the molecular path tested at the molecular level and their interactions evaluated as well. Only standardized herbal extracts are used and they are made to meet pharmaceutical grade standards. This all helps to guarantee top quality and consistent dosing from capsule to capsule.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can attack the skin discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus that affects the joints and internal organs. It is a connective tissue disease. Either the disease itself or the medications that are used to treat lupus can put a woman into early menopause. A doctor's examination will help to determine the best course of treatment including the possible benefits of herbal supplementation.
Reference: John Gibb is a nutrition enthusiast with over ten years of nutrition education and has now become a freelance writer. Currently, he focuses on information articles focused on women's health and fitness - www.the-menopause-source.com
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Cite This Page (APA): John Gibb. (2009, January 13). Lupus and Early Menopause. Disabled World. Retrieved September 19, 2021 from www.disabled-world.com/health/autoimmunediseases/lupus/early-menopause.php